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TAB Silver Chief Final: Armchair Guide

Fastest qualifier Zippy Tesla, trained by Andrea Dailly, is set to start favourite in the first Group 1 event for 2022, Saturday night’s $149,875 TAB Silver Chief final at The Meadows.

Zippy Tesla (Box 3) has been ‘electrifying’ in his last two outings, both at The Meadows, clocking a scorching best-of-night 29.60sec at the TAB Phoenix meeting and then backing that up on December 22 when claiming Silver Chief heat honours, posting 29.77sec.

After a sluggish start to his career, taking 11 starts to break his maiden, Zippy Tesla, a son of US sire KC And All, bred by ‘Team Dailly’, has won six of his next 12.

However co-trainer George Dailly, who oversees the Dailly family’s breeding operation, has cautioned that drawing Box 1 has been the key to Zippy Tesla’s turnaround in fortune, with his last three victories all coming from the inside draw.

Click HERE  for the latest TAB Silver Chief Final market

“He seems to like ‘the red’,” said Dailly.

“He has run nice time at his last two wins but he might be a ‘red runner’.

“He could always run but a few form experts said to me they were waiting for him to draw the rails because he goes left coming out of the boxes, so drawing wide wasn’t suiting him. That’s why it took him a few starts to win a maiden.

“He’s not weak but I would think he needs to be in the first two on Saturday night to win. If he’s not, he’s going to find it tough.

“His chances depend on where he is on the first corner.”


6:37pm First race
7:55pm First Quaddie leg (Race 5)
8:57pm G1 TAB Silver Chief Final (Race 8)
10:20pm Last race (Race 12)

The Meadows

Having enjoyed phenomenal success in partnership with late breeding icon Paul Wheeler, the Daillys are making a great fist of producing their own elite talent, with Zippy Tesla, dual Group 1 winner Gypsy Wyong and Group 1 Melbourne Cup runner-up Lala Kiwi the headline acts.

Despite Dailly’s warning that it could be a different story from Box 3 in the $100,000 to-the-winner Silver Chief final, Zippy Tesla is a warm $2.80 favourite with TAB, ahead of Xavien Bale (Box 6), one of two Samantha Grenfell-trained finalists, at $4.60.

– Watch every race live and free on Sky Racing, and via The Watchdog App.
– Behind the scenes Twitter coverage with ‘@MelbourneGreys’ and ‘@WatchDogRacing’.
– Regular updates with Trent Langskaill on RSN Racing and Sport (927 AM).

The market underlines the open nature of the age-restricted classic for male sprinters – greyhound racing’s version of the Victoria Derby – with six of the eight finalists at single figures.

With 47 starts, Xavien Bale is the most experienced contender, while the Angela Langton-trained Weblec Blazer (Box 4) has raced 32 times, including the Group 1 Adelaide Cup final in October.

Compliance (Box 8), trained by Karen Pitt, and Emily Azzopardi’s Slingshot Jonesy (Box 2) have both only faced the starter on six occasions, while rails runner It’s Only Money, prepared by Michael Vaughan, has won six of his seven starts.

Here’s a rundown of the contenders:

The Meadows, Saturday 8:57pm
First prize $100,000

Trainer: Michael Vaughan, Newcomb VIC
Breeding: February 2020 My Redeemer x Eily West
Record: Won 6 from 7
The Meadows PB: 29.97 seconds
TAB fixed odds: $8

Comment: Has come a long way in a hurry since making his debut on November 12. Has only been beaten once and couldn’t have been more impressive in his all-the-way heat victory, leaving series favourite Kinson Bale in his wake. Open to further improvement as that was just his second ‘500’ and has the early speed to take advantage of the ideal draw. Big chance to complete a meteoric rise to stardom.

Trainer: Emily Azzopardi, Rowsley VIC
Breeding: March 2020 Barcia Bale x Slingshot Gypsy
Record: Won 3 from 6
The Meadows PB: 29.94 seconds
TAB fixed odds: $6

Comment: Youngest finalist who has shown early speed in winning three of past four at The Meadows and Sandown Park. Any improvement on slick 29.94sec heat victory on debut at The Meadows will have him in the thick of the action from a suitable draw. One of the key players.

Trainer: Andrea Dailly, Anakie VIC
Breeding: August 2019 KC And All x Zippy Daph
Record: Won 6 from 22
The Meadows PB: 29.60 seconds
TAB fixed odds: $2.80

Comment: Assumed Silver Chief favouritism with brilliant wins at his past two starts; clocking a scorching best-of-night 29.60sec at the TAB Phoenix meeting and then setting the pace in the heats on December 22. It’s worth noting both those wins have come from Box 1. Has speed drawn on his inside but with clear running in the early stages he can win again.

Trainer: Angela Langton, Anakie VIC
Breeding: July 2019 Mepunga Blazer x Weblec Belle
Record: Won 9 from 32
The Meadows PB: 29.65 seconds
TAB fixed odds: $11

Comment: Powerful sprinter with clear edge in experience on the big stage, qualifying for Group 1 Adelaide Cup final in October, while he also ran third to superstar Aston Rupee in Group 3 Speed Star over this course and distance in August. Finished strongly in heat victory but the concern is he’s likely to be coming from behind again. Each-way claims.

Trainer: Samantha Grenfell, Anakie VIC
Breeding: February 2020 Fabregas x Tiggerlong Dot
Record: Won 4 from 11
The Meadows PB: 30.10 seconds
TAB fixed odds: $41

Comment: Half-brother to former superstar Tiggerlong Tonk, which ran third in 2020 Silver Chief final. Claimed third win from last four starts in heat, when railed strongly from midfield, but awkward draw against greater depth here makes his task a tough one.

Trainer: Samantha Grenfell, Anakie VIC
Breeding: August 2019 Fernando Bale x Ethla Allen
Record: Won 13 from 47
The Meadows PB: 29.85 seconds
TAB fixed odds: $4.60

Comment: Another with experience on his side, having won more races than half his rivals have had starts. Contested the Group 3 Silver Bullet at this venue in November. Took full advantage of Box 1 in dominant heat victory and has a sense of timing, returning to peak form with 29.23sec win at Sandown Park two starts back. Must be respected.

Trainer: Daniel Gibbons, Avalon VIC
Breeding: November 2019 Mepunga Blazer x Miss Tron
Record: Won 10 from 21
The Meadows PB: 29.80 seconds
TAB fixed odds: $5

Comment: Firing on all cylinders and secured fourth straight win with second quickest heat performance, when he was another to take advantage of an inside draw in Box 2. The move to an outside alley with early speed drawn around him may prove problematic in the run to the first corner but you can’t knock winning form.

Trainer: Karen Pitt, Pearcedale VIC
Breeding: November 2019 Black Magic Opal x Flowing
Record: Won 5 from 6
The Meadows PB: 29.89 seconds
TAB fixed odds: $8

Comment: Lightly-raced talent that has led all-the-way in winning his past four starts, two at The Meadows. His 5.02sec first split was the quickest of the heats and a repeat will see him vying for the lead in the run to the first turn. If he’s able to cross to the rail will give a great sight.

Trainer: Dustin Drew, Dennington VIC
Breeding: November 2019 Aston Kimetto x Aston Lolita
Record: Won 4 from 14
The Meadows PB: No wins
TAB fixed odds: $16

Comment: Continued consistent start to his career when second to fastest heat winner Zippy Tesla, breaking 30 seconds himself. Minor claims if he secured a start from an inside draw.

Trainer: Jeff Britton, Anakie VIC
Breeding: November 2019 High Earner x Phantom Mime
Record: Won 6 from 19
The Meadows PB: 30.22 seconds
TAB fixed odds: $21

Comment: Came from last early in heat placing and lack of early dash means he would need luck in transit if he gains a run.

Wednesday 22 December
(fastest to slowest):

29.77sec Zippy Tesla 📷
29.80sec Titan Blazer
29.85sec Xavien Bale
29.89sec Compliance
29.94sec Slingshot Jonesy
29.97sec It’s Only Money
30.10sec Tiggerlong Nibel
30.12sec Weblec Blazer

20211222 Zippy Tesla 2

2012 Godsend (Jason Thompson, Pearcedale VIC)
2013 Renegade Chief (Kelvyn Greenough, Pearcedale VIC)
2014 Ollie Bale (Andrea Dailly, Anakie VIC)
2015 Above All (Robert Britton, Lara VIC)
2016 Midwinter (Andrew Stewart, Melton VIC)
2017 Lightning Frank (Mathew Wright, Wangoom VIC)
2018 Out Of Range (Seona Thompson, Pearcedale VIC)
2019 Barooga Brett (Brooke Ennis, Lara VIC)
2020 Simon Told Helen (David Burnett, Little River VIC)
2021 Lakeview Walter (Monique Whelan, Metung VIC) 📷

20210102 Lakeview Walter 1

The content on this page was accurate at the time of publishing. If you notice any inaccurate content on this page or anywhere on the website, please report it here

About Gerard Guthrie - One of Australia's leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)
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